Smoking in Pregnancy – Government on track to meet ambition

Thursday 18 June 2015

Statistics released today indicate that the Government is on track to meet its ambition of reducing smoking in pregnancy – as recorded at time of delivery – to 11% or less by the end of 2015. The statistics show that in 2014/15 11.4% of women were recorded as smoking at the time of delivery and improvement from 12% in 2013/14 [1].

Francine Bates, Chief Executive of the Lullaby Trust and Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group [2] said:

“Whilst the Government appears to be on track to meet its current ambition, progress must not stop there. Smoking in pregnancy remains a major risk factor in sudden infant deaths. When the Government publishes its new tobacco control strategy we want to see strong commitment to further action reduce smoking in pregnancy.” [3]

There was considerable regional variation with 2.1% of women reported as smoking at the time of delivery in Central London while 27.2% were smoking at the end of their pregnancy in Blackpool.

Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Co-Chair of the Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group said:

“These results are encouraging but show that there is still much work to be done. Smoking in pregnancy is a major driver of health inequalities and more must be done to help communities where smoking rates are highest. Local areas now face real challenges in achieving this in the light of recently announced cuts to local public health budgets.”


Notes and Links:

[1] HSCIC, SATOD (Smoking Status At Time of Delivery)

[2] The Smoking in Pregnancy Challenge Group was established in 2012 to examine new ways of tackling the problem. In the coming months, the Challenge Group will publish a review of progress and recommendations for further action to help inform the Governments future work in this area.

[3] Following the launch of ASH’s new report, Smoking Still Kills, on 10th June, the Public Health Minister Jane Ellison announced that the Government was planning a new tobacco control strategy to replace the current one which will expire at the end of 2015.